The carcasses of 30 to 40 dogs were found buried in the Rangapura village of Karnataka's Shivamogga district and a case has been registered against several officials of the Kambadal Hosur Gram Panchayat among others under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The cause of their death is not yet known because of the decomposed nature of their bodies, the police official said.
According to the police, the villagers had called a contractor for animal birth control but it is suspected that instead of performing the prescribed procedure, the dogs were culled and buried in a nearby forest area in the village.
Speaking to ANI here today, Shivamogga Superintendent of Police (SP) BM Laxmi Prasad said, "In a place in Bhadravati rural station limits, there is a place called Rangapura village which comes under Kambadal Hosur Panchayat limits. In that village, there was an effort to catch stray dogs and neuter them but it looks like the contractor or whosoever had come has culled around 30 to 40 dogs and buried them in a nearby forest area."
He further said, "Based on this information, we registered a case against unknown persons and some Gram Panchayat officials who are involved. A case has been registered under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and investigation is on. We have some leads in the investigation. Further efforts are on to check who are the people behind it."
Responding to a question on whether the dogs were poisoned, the Shivamogga SP said, "The exact cause of their death is difficult to tell because their corpses have been decaying. We had a veterinary forensic expert come by and so far they have given this opinion that they are unable to ascertain the cause of their death because of the decomposed nature of their bodies."
Shivamogga animal rescue club member, GS Basava Prasad, claimed, "Three days ago we got a call from people of the village stating that 150 to 200 dogs have been buried alive in the forest area. On receiving the information our team visited the place. We got to know that village gram panchayat member president, Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) all are involved in this case. Later we came to know that the actual number of dogs buried alive was more than 300."
"Actually they should have applied for animal birth control tender. In this, a prescribed procedure is followed which includes operations wherein medical facilities are also provided for the animals. But these people do not know anything about animal birth control. What they did was they caught all the dogs and dumped them alive in a small pond and closed it," said the animal rescue club member.
He added, "We lodged an FIR on gram panchayat members and the police and the locals also supported us. The FIR has been filed under section 160 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960."
(With ANI inputs)